“I want my children to love music, but I’m no expert. How can my spouse and I give our kids the very best music has to offer when we’re so new to violin?”
Here are my favorite ways to help your kids learn!
Attend Every Lesson
Ask questions, videotape, take notes, and try playing a few songs yourself. The more involved you are, the easier everything will come to you and your young musician(s)! Teachers don’t expect you to be an expert — they hope you’ll be their teammate at home, supporting your child each step of the way. Not only does this effort help you keep up with your little violinist, but it also demonstrates to your child how much you love them and value their hard work. Remember that kids will mirror your attitude — if you’re positive and dedicated, they will be as well.
Talk to Other Parents
If there’s an obstacle standing in your way, you can bet someone else in the studio recently faced and conquered it. Friendships with other studio parents can be a huge resource. Ask your teacher to set you up with another family.
Youth Concerts — Recitals, local youth orchestras, and high school musical productions inspire us all. “Look how much fun those kids are having together! Are you excited to play with them someday soon?”
Professional Performances — Symphonies often have special concert series targeted at families. These family events often take place on Saturday mornings, making it easy for you to bring even the youngest ones along. Make it a special occasion and celebrate how grown-up the kids are at their first concert!
Houston Families: Check out the Houston Symphony (especially the Family Season!), Virtuosi of Houston, the Houston Youth Symphony, and the American Festival for the Arts.
Put on a favorite CD and let the kids spin around the room. Encourage them to move to the music — slow when the music slows, speed up and twirl when the music does the same. Encourage brave musical expression from your children by getting up and dancing with them!
Show children the fun of expressing how they feel through their voice. Sing in the car, on long walks, whilst doing the dishes, and, most importantly, whenever the kids are happy. It doesn’t matter what you sing or how everyone sounds: you’re building self-esteem, a love for music, and perceptive ears!
Rent Your Own Instrument
It may feel intimidating, but renting your own instrument and playing along with your child for the first few months is one of the most effective ways to jump-start progress at home. Who knows, you too might catch the Fiddle Bug!
Set Your Home to Music
Let listening to music and singing along work its way into every aspect of family life. Have a new favorite song each week, listen to your new Suzuki CD until yours neighbors could play Allegro, and show the kids how fun listening to Beethoven over breakfast can be.
All opinions are by Lauren Haley and all original content is copyright 2015 Lauren Haley Studios.